Mastery bar and abilities

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Qhue
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Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Qhue » July 14th, 2018, 6:41 am

Do we get to 'slot' more than three abilities later on in the game? The limit of three seems quite restrictive, especially for Practicioners.

I also seem to have encountered a bug whereby certain abilites are still listed as Mastery options even after I changed my 'spec'. My Bard had, previously, had the skills Rhyme of Duotime and Headknocker but no longer has skill points spent on either one, yet they still show as options in Mastery.

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Caerdon
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Caerdon » July 14th, 2018, 1:43 pm

It's not "quite restrictive", it's downright insane.

Just played the backer beta for a few hours, and while it's certainly promising and has plenty of potential, some design decisions just baffle me. I really, really hope this is just a case of me somehow entirely misunderstanding how the skill system works.

So... three abilities. That's all you'll get to use. And those three include attacking with a weapon.

I just don't get it. This is the kind of stuff I come up with if I specifically try to invent the most frustrating, infuriating mechanics an RPG could possibly have. Why only three abilites? Why is there a limit in the first place? Purely from a game design perspective, how does that improve the game?

I can't remember ever playing an RPG where on level up I try to pick all the passive bonuses instead of getting any of the actually interesting stuff. This might be the one.

Oh, but I almost forgot the trinket slot! That's almost like having one more ability! Except... that's really just for potions - uh, I mean one potion. Forget access to inventory, you have one potion slot. Well... except for bards, who must use a tankard to be able to function.

When players ask for interesting tactical choices, this is not what they mean. I want to make interesting, meaningful and impactful choices during combat, not to choose whether I'll be able to use A or B before I even enter combat.

This game feels like a first person perspective version of The Lost Vikings. You know: one guy can hit things with a sword, another guy can block with a shield, and the third guy can jump. I thought this was supposed to be an RPG?

End of rant, I think I got my point through. Please someone tell me I've just completely misunderstood how the game functions.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Ravenfeather » July 14th, 2018, 2:25 pm

First - yes 3 master Abilities seem too limit my capabilities very much.
But before ranting - let them Answer the question if you got more Slots later in the Game.
The complete Beta is about 5 hours of gameplay
If you saw the Kickstarter Character reviews ( here is the latest about Wizard classes ) -->
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/2233940
You see 5 Ability Slots for your Mastery.
So let`s hope that you get later more flexibility with more Slots.

Qhue
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Qhue » July 14th, 2018, 3:12 pm

Well those screenshots show 5 ability slots in combat. That would include the 3 Mastery plus any you have from a piece of armor / weapon / trinket

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by lefty1117 » July 14th, 2018, 4:04 pm

This is the answer that no one wants to hear, but my guess is the slots were limited to make the move to console control scheme easier.

Not having a spellbook to choose from is indeed disappointing. There should be at least twice the number of slots if this is the mechanism they want to use.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Zadkiel » July 14th, 2018, 7:05 pm

Ravenfeather wrote:
July 14th, 2018, 2:25 pm
First - yes 3 master Abilities seem too limit my capabilities very much.
But before ranting - let them Answer the question if you got more Slots later in the Game.
The complete Beta is about 5 hours of gameplay
If you saw the Kickstarter Character reviews ( here is the latest about Wizard classes ) -->
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/2233940
You see 5 Ability Slots for your Mastery.
So let`s hope that you get later more flexibility with more Slots.
Umm, that's the 3 skills plus move and your trinket slot consumable.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Dynanmb » July 17th, 2018, 2:41 am

They need to allow more than 3 skills - especially for the Bars class - Chug already consumes one and then the limits you to 2 songs or an attack and 2 songs. This needs to change!

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Hawkeye
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Hawkeye » July 17th, 2018, 9:24 am

It's f-ing ridiculous.

I mean, it explains why the spell-book isn't even a shadow of it's former self but even the reduced spell-book (and the bard-songs) simply _demand_ a much larger number of ability slots.

Why would I choose multiple active attack abilities as a fighter, if I ever can only use a max. of 3?
Why would I ever choose multiple active attack abilities as a rouge, if I ever can only use a max of 2 (I mean, if I don't have "hide in shadows" available, why play a rouge in the first place)
Why would I choose multiple songs as a bard, if I can ever only play 1 or 2 (I'd kinda like to still be able to hit an enemy over the head)
Why would I choose multiple spells as a mage, if I will never be able to use more than 1 or 2 (see above)

I think the phrase I used in my "impressions of the beta" post was: "Whoever came up with this needs to be taken to the wood-shed"
Of course I belive in peace - peace through superior firepower

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Nystrom
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Nystrom » July 17th, 2018, 10:17 am

The point behind the restrictions is to make you think about your battle planning. I like it, for the most part. It just needs tweaking.

I would say, starting out 3 is fine, but perhaps every 5 levels you unlock an additional one.

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sirtechfan
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by sirtechfan » July 17th, 2018, 11:14 am

I understand inExile has said there are no plans to port this to consoles at this time, but the only real reason I see in limiting the skill choices is to make it easier to map to controller buttons when they do move this to the consoles, as other have stated. I could be wrong about this, but it's certainly not strategic in my opinion.

I think implementing a solution similar to how the Chug ability functions for all three mastery buttons would work better, where you have a secondary menu open up with more choices. For the Chug ability, once you choose it it brings up a second menu right now that lets you choose which drink to use. You could expand that idea and have an Attack/Defend/Class Ability (Chug, Spell, Battle Cry, Hide in Shadows, etc) mapped to the three general mastery buttons, then when you select Attack for example, a secondary menu of buttons pops up with all of your attack abilities to choose from (or a reasonable limit on them, like 5 or 8).

You could add more menus to go deeper if necessary for the Spell book. Let's say I select the Spell mastery button, then the secondary menu lets me choose a spell sphere (air, water, fire, earth, etc.), then that brings up a third menu with the spells in those spheres available to cast.

I'm not a programmer so I have no idea how difficult this would be to implement, but the functionality already exists in the game so it's at least feasible to me.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Serjo » July 17th, 2018, 11:27 am

sirtechfan wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:14 am
I understand inExile has said there are no plans to port this to consoles at this time, but
They announced console ports for "later this year" when the beta was released:
The Bard's Tale 4 comes out on PC on 18th September 2018, developer inXile has announced. The fantasy role-playing sequel launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by sirtechfan » July 17th, 2018, 11:32 am

Serjo wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:27 am
sirtechfan wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:14 am
I understand inExile has said there are no plans to port this to consoles at this time, but
They announced console ports for "later this year" when the beta was released:
The Bard's Tale 4 comes out on PC on 18th September 2018, developer inXile has announced. The fantasy role-playing sequel launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.
Where did this quote come from, because I could have sworn I saw a comment from Paul just last week that said they had no plans at this time to be on console? Thanks.

In any case, we all knew it was going to consoles. I just don't like limiting the choices of the game I helped fund because of that decision.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by raveen » July 17th, 2018, 5:32 pm

sirtechfan wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:32 am
Serjo wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:27 am
sirtechfan wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 11:14 am
I understand inExile has said there are no plans to port this to consoles at this time, but
They announced console ports for "later this year" when the beta was released:
The Bard's Tale 4 comes out on PC on 18th September 2018, developer inXile has announced. The fantasy role-playing sequel launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.
Where did this quote come from, because I could have sworn I saw a comment from Paul just last week that said they had no plans at this time to be on console? Thanks.

In any case, we all knew it was going to consoles. I just don't like limiting the choices of the game I helped fund because of that decision.
eurogamer
you can see it in the recent new(Bard tales 4 just before click to play) on steam
I can give you the link : https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018 ... o-consoles

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Hawkeye
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Hawkeye » July 17th, 2018, 9:35 pm

Nystrom wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 10:17 am
The point behind the restrictions is to make you think about your battle planning. I like it, for the most part. It just needs tweaking.

I would say, starting out 3 is fine, but perhaps every 5 levels you unlock an additional one.
So instead of giving me access to _all_ of my character's abilities and making me adjust my tactics in combat on the fly, I should engage a group of enemies to see what I'm facing, then reload, adjust my master-list and then engage the enemy group again?

I could accept if it were only about pure combat abilities, but throwing in bard songs, spells and rouge special abilities is simply ridiculous.
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by CapMicro » July 17th, 2018, 9:52 pm

Making the game play the same on PCs as it does for consoles is what ruined DC Universe Online for me. I loved the game but the power system was just too stupid for me to deal with. I don't anticipate it going down any better with Bard's Tale IV.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Nystrom » July 18th, 2018, 7:53 am

Hawkeye wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 9:35 pm
Nystrom wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 10:17 am
The point behind the restrictions is to make you think about your battle planning. I like it, for the most part. It just needs tweaking.

I would say, starting out 3 is fine, but perhaps every 5 levels you unlock an additional one.
So instead of giving me access to _all_ of my character's abilities and making me adjust my tactics in combat on the fly, I should engage a group of enemies to see what I'm facing, then reload, adjust my master-list and then engage the enemy group again?

I could accept if it were only about pure combat abilities, but throwing in bard songs, spells and rouge special abilities is simply ridiculous.
You aren't given access to all of your known spells in Pillars of Eternity.

The only thing ridiculous about the current setup is that you are limited to three the entire time. Unlock more mastery slots as you level would strike the right balance between making decisions matter and being completely useless.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Hawkeye » July 18th, 2018, 9:06 am

Nystrom wrote:
July 18th, 2018, 7:53 am

You aren't given access to all of your known spells in Pillars of Eternity.

The only thing ridiculous about the current setup is that you are limited to three the entire time. Unlock more mastery slots as you level would strike the right balance between making decisions matter and being completely useless.
And what, pray tell, has Pillars of Eternity to do with any of that?

Anyway, we might have to agree to disagree.

To me, a system where I unlock a new ability/spell/song and am not able to use it any time I want in combat by artificially restricting the number of my "active" abilities/spells/songs, is an inherently broken system.

To me, it doesn't enhance the game or forces me to make difficult tactical choices. All it does is push me towards passive abilities as much as possible.

Sure, the effect of this song or that spell might sound interesting in the right circumstances, but dealing damage will work every time, so I'll go for those until I run into a mob where I actually _need_ that effect and then I'll just gonna reload, change my master-list and be done with it.

There is absolutely _no_ tactical thinking beforehand involved whatsoever.

This system, ACTIVELY, encourages save-scumming.
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Nystrom
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Nystrom » July 18th, 2018, 11:11 am

Hawkeye wrote:
July 18th, 2018, 9:06 am
Nystrom wrote:
July 18th, 2018, 7:53 am

You aren't given access to all of your known spells in Pillars of Eternity.

The only thing ridiculous about the current setup is that you are limited to three the entire time. Unlock more mastery slots as you level would strike the right balance between making decisions matter and being completely useless.
And what, pray tell, has Pillars of Eternity to do with any of that?

Anyway, we might have to agree to disagree.

To me, a system where I unlock a new ability/spell/song and am not able to use it any time I want in combat by artificially restricting the number of my "active" abilities/spells/songs, is an inherently broken system.

To me, it doesn't enhance the game or forces me to make difficult tactical choices. All it does is push me towards passive abilities as much as possible.

Sure, the effect of this song or that spell might sound interesting in the right circumstances, but dealing damage will work every time, so I'll go for those until I run into a mob where I actually _need_ that effect and then I'll just gonna reload, change my master-list and be done with it.

There is absolutely _no_ tactical thinking beforehand involved whatsoever.

This system, ACTIVELY, encourages save-scumming.
Yeah, we're just going to have a fundamental disagreement then. That's okay.

Separate Topic

I do think (potentially) part of the problem is 27 years have passed since the last Bard's Tale game. Since then, the way games are presented has evolved. People today are used to certain standards, standards Bard's Tale I-III could never meet if released today. In-Exile had to constantly question: What 2018 features do we keep, which ones do we not? Knowing full well someone was always going to be upset.

I'll give you a great example. Some of you may remember the MMORPG Wildstar. Came out in 2014. Pretty good MMO. The devs behind it actually listened to the user base who claimed that all existing MMORPGs were too easy, and they craved something that would be HARD, like in the 'old days'.

Well, Carbine Studios listened. Carbine was started by some old Blizzard employees who worked on the original WoW. Back when it was more challenging (think vanilla, and BC). They made end game content hard. They released an MMORPG that they believed would cater to the "old school, hardcore gamers". Guess what happened?

People freaked out and complained! The MMO ended up going F2P 18 months later. End game raids became easier as the unexpected whining commenced.

It was, imho, a great case study in gamer psychology - especially the first gen of gamers who are now my age (40's or older). People thought they wanted something, but there was some cognitive disconnect between the fact they were younger then...and now they are older, and needed a more casual friendly experience for the time they had available.

As I read all of this threads about Bard's Tale IV, I can't help but think the same phenomena is going on, to some degree.

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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by thebruce » July 18th, 2018, 11:50 am

Nystrom wrote:
July 18th, 2018, 11:11 am
Separate Topic
...
As I read all of this threads about Bard's Tale IV, I can't help but think the same phenomena is going on, to some degree.
Yes, and this stuff has all been discussed ad nauseum for 3 years, everyone brainstorming ways to incorporate essential (ymmv) trilogy gameplay elements in BT4 and have it still be successful. But it seems to have been largely forum users talking amongst themselves, with very little feedback or input from the studio. So it's hard to tell why certain design decisions were made and aspects were kept while others weren't, other than the oft cited "modern" game mechanics - which is specifically one of the topics oft discussed, once again lending credence to the feeling that such discussions went largely ignored.
It's a tough pill to swallow.
I've seen other games where devs and studio liasons were much more interactive and embedded in the community during development; though typically for brand new games, not revivals of old games (where certain mechanics ideas either work or don't, moreso than whether one person's preference is worthwhile or not).

ETA: erk. This topic is better suited to one of the generic BT threads, not this one.
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Nystrom
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Re: Mastery bar and abilities

Post by Nystrom » July 18th, 2018, 3:38 pm

thebruce wrote:
July 18th, 2018, 11:50 am

ETA: erk. This topic is better suited to one of the generic BT threads, not this one.
Maybe, but to me this Mastery Bar discussion is a good example of the above. Plus I was afraid posting in non-spoiler area might lead to an accidental leak of something. Admittedly, I've only been around since the start of the month, but it's unfortunate if there wasn't much of a dialogue between developers and user base.

That said, there's only 15 or so users posting here anyway, which isn't exactly a good sign either.

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